There are no words to describe the horror of it. There is no way to make sense of it. Innocent people – even children – killed and maimed. To what end? Impossible to tell. Who would do such an evil thing? Such a pointless, mad thing? Perhaps we shall know who in time. But why? That we can never really figure out.
My sister-in-law Faye will surely attribute it to the Devil. She sees his hand in all of the monstrous wickedness that surrounds us. And who am I to say that she is wrong?
What human being, however depraved, would plant bombs to blow up runners and spectators at a marathon? What would they hope to achieve by doing something so random, so futile? Yet, while yesterday’s tragedy was a rare event in the United States, it is not rare in many other countries – Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Pakistan…
All around he globe, evildoers are at work, committing atrocities for no sane reason.
Faye would probably say we are living in the End Times, as prophesied in the Book of Revelation. She would cite the prophesy that the Devil would be fiercest during the closing days of the era preceding the return of Christ.
And who am I to say that she is wrong?
Surely, some evil influence pervades this earth. Is it worse now than it has ever been? Hard to say. Consider the atrocities of the past… the Holocaust… Rwanda…
The Americas have known their share of unspeakable inhumanity. From the time Christopher Columbus set foot in the Bahamas six centuries ago to the 1890 massacre of the Sioux at Wounded Knee by the United States military – and beyond – indigenous populations were ruthlessly slaughtered.
But today’s horrors seem to be more frequent than ever before. They keep on coming one after the other with relentless ferocity – each more senseless than the other. Before we can recover from the Sandy Hook massacre, we are faced with the bombing of the Boston Marathon.
Some day someone – someone much wiser than I – might come up with a scientific explanation for the phenomenon of evil. Someone might even be able to find a logical reason for the apparently pointless violence that wracks the earth.
But as far as I am concerned, it makes no sense.
Like the woman pictured above seeking the help of a higher power in the horror of yesterday’s atrocity, all I can do is pray.
April 16, 2013 4 Comments
I have always held The Masters in the highest esteem. I am as enthralled by its traditions as anyone. I am a big fan of Bobby Jones and revere anything connected with his memory. But the pompous millionaires who have hijacked the year’s first major make it increasingly painful to watch.
I can’t believe Bobby Jones would have agreed with the racist and sexist policies that prevailed at Augusta National Golf Club until very recently. And now that the “southern gentlemen” have relented and allowed Condi Rice – imagine that, a black woman! – to join their precious club, their dumb rules are making golf look ridiculous.
I’ve accepted their limits on the amount of TV we get to watch, and who can ask what and when. And I’ve put up with the windbags who interrupt play with obsequious tributes to Augusta National Golf Club and everyone who was ever connected with it.
But when they impose their nonsense on the game itself, they’re walking on the fighting side of me.
Of course, it’s not just Augusta that makes golf seem stodgy.
Some of the rules inflicted on golfers by the stuffed shirts who take it upon themselves to police the sport are patently absurd to begin with. And the way the rules are sometimes implemented make the game seem fit only for pedantic old men with fat wallets.
Take, for example, Craig Stadler’s disqualification at the 1987 Andy Williams Open. The Walrus had his second-place check ripped up because some jerks in the TV audience pointed out he had illegally “built his stance” by using a towel to protect his trousers when he knelt to play a ball that had rolled under a shrub. And Dustin Johnson, who lost the PGA Championship a couple of years ago because he grounded his club in a patch of sand that spectators had been walking and sitting in all week. Dustin later found out the scruffy area was designated as a bunker by the folks at the club.
And why on earth should you be penalized if the breeze rolls your ball while you are trying to putt? Or for moving a leaf that blows over your ball while it’s in a bunker? Or for moving a ball out of a divot in the middle of the fairway?
Perhaps the most infuriating rule is the one that cost Roberto De Vicenzo the 1968 Masters championship. He was booted because he casually signed his card without noticing his playing partner had recorded the wrong score – a higher score – on a hole.
There’s a new rule that opens the door to equally spurious rulings – the one about slow play. Sure, slow play is a curse. I hate standing around waiting for some duffer to plumb-bob a putting line. And it is true that slow playing pros set a bad example. But the cure can be worse than the disease. This dangerously subjective rule was applied in the most churlish way at this year’s Masters.
It cost 14-year-old phenom Guan Tianlang (pictured above with Tiger) a stroke in yesterday’s second round, and I can’t imagine anything more distasteful. The kid was trying to figure out one of the craziest courses in the world, and it’s unthinkable that some fat bully of a rules official would harass him.
Just as annoying – to me, anyway – was the 2-stroke penalty imposed on Tiger Woods. First the disclaimer: If Tiger wasn’t playing, I probably wouldn’t be watching. It wouldn’t be The Masters without the world’s number-one golfer, so I wouldn’t care who gets the Green Jacket. So you can imagine how teed off I was when he hit a picture-perfect shot to the 15th green and saw his ball ricochet off the flag stick and roll into a pond.
Why is the flag stick considered part of the course, anyway? Left to me, it would be in the same category as a power line. If the darned thing obstructs your ball, you should get to take the shot over. It’s not considered part of the course when you putt; you have to take it out of the hole. If you hit it with a putt, you’re penalized.
Tiger accepted his bad break and played another shot. He hit it within inches and sank the putt for a bogey. It was not until later that he became aware he might have broken Rule 27-1, which states that “a player must drop the ball as near as possible” to its original position. Apparently, he dropped it a few feet farther out.
Rules regarding water hazards are quite complex. If the hazard is identified by yellow stakes, for example, you must execute a different protocol than the rigamarole decreed for hazards bounded by red stakes. It’s enough to confuse anyone, even Tiger Woods. Especially when he’s still in shock from the rotten break he just got.
The Augusta Golf Club big shots took a look at the “infraction” and assessed a one-stroke penalty against Tiger. Then they took a second look and decided he had signed “an incorrect” score card so they disqualified him. Then they took yet another look (at the potential effect on TV ratings?) and reinstated him with a 2-stroke penalty.
I don’t think the myriad golfers that pack the world’s courses on a holiday weekend play by the arcane rules that supposedly govern the game. In fact, I know we don’t. And, I have news for the big shots who think they can dictate how the game is played: if you keep making ridiculous rulings, we might stop watching your tournaments.
I know I’m sitting here letting off steam, when I would normally be glued to the TV.
April 13, 2013 4 Comments
On a morning where the news includes the launching of a privately owned yacht nearly 600 feet long and costing who knows how many millions of dollars, there’s a brief item about homeless people in Kansas City living in underground tunnels.
You can also read about Justin Bieber’s hair and who’s likely o get chosen in the NFL draft. More concerned readers can obtain enlightenment on President Obama’s budget (proposing cuts to the meager benefits on which most old people survive), the struggle to keep military weapons out of the hands of criminals and homicidal maniacs, and the pros and cons of same-sex marriage.
Not much about the most important issue of our time: poverty.
Swept under the rug by the media, the horror of human destitution – even in the midst of plenty – grows more frightening every day.
How is it possible, I ask myself, for such callous neglect to exist? Especially in a “Christian” country like the United States?
True, the yacht is supposedly owned by the Abu Dhabi royal family, not by some American billionaire. But it could have been. For there is no dearth of the super wealthy in America. Billionaires abound while the shadowy legion of the abandoned poor swells.
What I found most chilling in the story about the Kansas City underground colony was this offhand observation:
Officers became concerned when they noticed piles of soiled diapers, indicating that some of the homeless residents may have had children living in the unclean conditions.
Of course there were kids! It’s the kids who are bearing the brunt of prevailing – and dangerously misguided – economic policies.
So how did the authorities deal with their horrifying discovery? They evicted the squatters and bulldozed the tunnels. No word on what was done to find the residents another place to call home. But a local charity was there to help. Carla Brewer of Hope Faith Ministries reportedly offered them “a place to shower and sleep away from the camp.”
And the authorities? What did they do for these wretched folks? Apparently nothing.
The powers that be are actually cutting services to people like these. It’s “austerity” time, remember? There’s a “sequester” going on.
According to one account, the authorities’ became concerned about the homeless colony because of thefts of grain from a nearby mill.
Does this remind you of “Les Miserables”?
We seem to be heading back to the days when it was up to “charities” to feed the poor. And I’m sure you know how well that worked
Did you ever think this kind of heartlessness could exist in a country like America? In 2013?
I know I didn’t.
April 10, 2013 2 Comments
Sandra was watching :The Iron Lady” last night, and I reluctantly sat through part of the Oscar-winning movie. Watching the aging Margaret Thatcher alone and bewildered at the end, I could not help feeling sorry for her. That is the triumph of a great actor’s performance – to evoke sympathy for even the least sympathetic of characters.
For make no mistake. There was nothing sympathetic about the late Margaret Thatcher.
My pity is for the millions she assigned to wretched poverty – and the ruined Britain she left behind. The deluded and heartless woman wrecked her country to glorify herself and enrich the ruling class.
To shed a tear for her is to condone the toxic policies of America’s current crop of Republican leaders. Instead Thatcher’s iron-fisted cruelty should serve as a warning to the world:
Beware those who preach the doctrine of “austerity” as a pretext for impoverishing the poor to enrich the rich.
As Alex Pareene observes in a Salon.com article today:
Let’s skip the rise-to-power biographical crap — if you care you can see it in the Meryl Streep movie, I assume — and get to the point. She intentionally immiserated millions of English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish people in order to carry out a liberalization of the British economy that benefited the wealthy at the expense of nearly everyone else. Decades after she left office, the country hasn’t recovered.
Of course you could look at her career in another light – as NPR’s Neal Conan did on “Talk of the Nation” yesterday. In his view, Thatcher “changed the world” and will be remembered “for implementing sweeping reforms of Britain’s economy and for her key role in the demise of the Soviet Union.”
She set out to change a Britain she saw mired in ever more paralytic socialism, and along the way she broke unions, slashed government bureaucracy, trimmed the social safety net and privatized industries that then struggled or sank without public subsidies.
However you look at the Thatcher era, there can be no valid debate about the impact of her policies on the people she was supposed to represent. As Pereene astutely observes, “poverty skyrocketed during the Thatcher era — no surprise there, considering the intentional recessions and massive deindustrialization that made up her economic agenda — and never went back down.”
To me, the legacy of Margaret Thatcher’s 11 years as British prime minister should serve as a timely warning to America’s voters:
There but for the grace of God goes America. Wake up before it’s too late!
April 9, 2013 4 Comments
An article by Lynn Stuart Parramore, circulated by Salon today, seems to suggest that – for all its shortcomings – American- and British-style democracy offers the best chance of stability in a world in flux.
Ms. Parramore quotes a Vanity Fair piece that reports Third World billionaires are buying up apartments in an exclusive London building. She adds that at least one global plutocrat has bought an obscenely expensive property in New York, and concludes that:
Preparing for an economic or political collapse of the world as we know it is no longer reserved for paranoids living in flyover states who stockpile canned goods. The new 1 percenters are worried about a day of reckoning, too, and they’re scouring the globe for places to stash cash and putting their trust in First World security in the increasingly likely event of Third World meltdown. Big money has got a bug-out plan.
She explains that:
As Britain and other First World countries sink into the mire of austerity, a tsunami of unfettered capitalism is spreading over the Third World and the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Headlong capitalist growth tends to create instability and a growing trend of authoritarianism. Many of the new elites are living under semi-dictatorial regimes, and they need safe havens in the event of a collapsed government or a dictator who decides to give them the boot. They require real estate as insurance against economic catastrophe.
It seems to me that Ms. Parramore’s diagnosis may be based on incomplete information. She is right about the shift in wealth from the developed nations to those emerging under globalism. But she seems to be ignoring another world power that is as authoritarian as any Third World dictatorship.
I read in Bloomberg News today that:
Thai billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont, who bought a $9.4 billion stake in Ping An Insurance (2318) (Group) Co. from HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) in February, said he is seeking more acquisitions to tap growth in China.
So at least one Third World billionaire apparently sees China as the most secure country in which to invest.
What does it all really mean?
This is not our grandfather’s world, obviously. You’ve probably read that there are now more billionaires in Russia than in America, and Ms. Parramore points out that the world’s richest human is not an American but a Mexican.
I see through a glass darkly, of course. But I see a world in which unfettered capitalism will inevitably create unsustainable disparities between rich and poor.
Global income inequality is already greater than it has ever been. The richest one percent of people in the world rakes in more than the bottom 57 percent. And, from what I’ve read, the disparity is increasing exponentially.
In such a world, there is no such place as a safe haven. When “le deluge” erupts, as it inevitably will, no country will be exempt. Not Russia, not China, not the United Kingdom and Europe. Not even America.
Indeed, nowhere is the gap between rich and poor wider than in America. According to a 2011 study from the Congressional Budget Office, incomes for the bottom fifth of Americans grew about 20 percent between 1979 and 2007, while the top 1 percent saw their incomes grow by 275 percent.
And in the past few decades, the number of Americans living in extreme poverty has doubled.
Perhaps those “paranoids living in flyover states who stockpile canned goods” aren’t so crazy after all.
April 7, 2013 No Comments
Barack Obama is nobody’s fool, but he is reportedly doing a very foolish thing. If news reports about his budget proposals are true, he is sabotaging the Democratic Party’s chances of winning back the House and keeping the Senate in 2014.
These reports paint him as seeking to ingratiate himself with his Republican opponents by offering to trim Social Security. Will this president never learn?
President Obama, hear me now: There is no common ground with the Republican Party. They have only one goal – to make you look bad. Nothing you can do will win them over.
If you are indeed – as the reports say – offering to cut Social Security, you are falling into a trap.
No cuts will be enough for them. The more you cut, the more cuts they will demand.
Here’s their plan: to introduce ”austerity” and make life harder for Americans, so voters will become disenchanted with the government – that’s your government, Mr. President. How do you think that will play in the 2014 elections?
Their “deficit reducing” doctrine is a sly rationale for undermining the effectiveness of government and reinforcing the Republican claim that the less government the better. Republicans make no secret of the fact that their aim is to “make government so small they can drown it in a bathtub.” By forcing spending cuts that make the government less and less effective, they hope to create the right political climate for getting rid of government. Get it?
When you offer to cut back the social safety net that Democrats have so painstakingly woven over the years, you are turning off supporters like me, Mr. President.
The irony is that you seem to be campaigning for the 2014 elections already. You seem to have realized that nothing can be achieved with the current Congress and that the only way of implementing your agenda is to put the boots to the Republicans in 2014.
You have seen the polls, Mr. President. You know the Republican Party is on the unpopular side of just about every issue – from gun control to immigration and gay marriage. You can see how they have antagonized – and continue to antagonize – women and minorities.
I realize that you are trying to be clever when you offer cuts to social services in exchange for tax hikes on the rich. But be careful. Higher taxes and reduced services do not sound like a winning platform.
Of course, you know going in that the Republicans will reject your deal, and you might think this will make you look ”reasonable.”
But everyone who is open to reason already knows that. Some of us think you’re too reasonable.
All you’re doing now is making yourself look like a wily politician with no commitment to the ideals that Democrats have embraced for generations.
Keep this up, Mr. President, and a lot of us might get the impression that it doesn’t matter who wins in 2014. We might not bother to go to the polls this time.
April 5, 2013 3 Comments
They taught me in school that democracy is a system of government of the people, by the people, for the people. So I have to wonder when I read - as I often do – that the United States is “the world’s leading democracy.” In poll after poll, I see ”the people” favoring policies that the government will not – or cannot – enact.
In the depressing “debate” over gun control, for example, the will of the people is clearly being thwarted by the power of the gun manufacturing lobby. With polls showing that 90 percent of Americans support background checks and a substantial majority favor tighter regulations on gun sales, Congress is resisting any and all attempts at reform.
Meanwhile, all over the country state legislatures are adopting anti-abortion measures that clearly contradict the will of the majority of Americans who voted against similar policies in November’s general elections.
Obviously, the ballot box no longer rules in America.
The reasons are complex. But one influence seems to be growing ever more evident – intimidation of public officials by special interest groups.
Under America’s system of government, lobbyists and campaign contributors have always exerted undue influence over elected officials. This corrupting situation has become a lot worse with the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that gave corporations free rein to spend as much as they want to support political candidates.
The NRA’s iron grip on the US Congress is a case in point.
The massive amount of money funneled through the National Rifle Association by weapons manufacturers is obviously the main reason for the government’s paralysis on gun control. Politicians not only have to consider the NRA’s contributions to their own campaigns, they also have to consider the threat of massive financial support for their opponents.
Even more troubling is the emergence of another kind of intimidation.
Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney canceled a public appearance Tuesday because of death threats she received. NRA security guards conspicuously displayed their weapons at the organization’s most recent press conference. And the founder of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners compared deer hunting season with election season, when gun owners would be free to “hunt Democrats.”
In support of his dangerous analogy, Dudley Brown complained that universal background checks are designed to identify gun owners so the government can seize their weapons, a notion that’s also being aired by the likes of Mike Huckabee. The former presidential candidate agreed with a talk-show caller who likened President Obama to the Nazis who seized the German people’s weapons in their imposition of dictatorship.
This hostile atmosphere is not restricted to the gun control power struggle. There’s a flood of even more troubling news reports about law enforcement officials being shot. You’ve probably wondered about the murder of a Texas District Attorney and his wife, for example, and several other execution-style killings that might be linked to criminal investigations.
I know I’ve wondered about the trend toward the apparent use of physical force to manipulate the justice system as well as the political system.
There’s a name for this kind of behavior. It’s called fascism. And the crazies who accuse President Obama of using “Nazi” style tactics should take note of the fact that it’s not the president who is resorting to intimidation but his political opponents.
April 4, 2013 No Comments
I believe in redemption. I’m all for giving a sinner a second chance – or a third. Indeed, I know we are admonished to forgive seventy times seven. But when it comes to the Mark Sanfords of this world I draw the line. It’s not just that this ostensibly respectable married man ran off to Argentina in hot pursuit of a sexual assignation. Some otherwise good men have been guilty of similar transgressions. Even King David, who was among God’s chosen.
It’s not just Sanford’s dissembling – pretending he was on a hike along the Appalachian trail when he was visiting his mistress in Buenes Aires. And it’s not even his disregard for the office of Governor or his dereliction of duty in being missing for six days with nobody able to find him.
What makes me skeptical of his professed contrition is his brash bid for a return to public office so soon after his exposure and disgrace.
I know I must seem naive to expect better behavior from those who seek to represent – and lead – us. Sanford is not the first public figure to recover from scandal by seeking forgiveness. Jimmy Swaggart springs to mind… Jim Bakker… Newt Gingrich… Bill Clinton… Tom Delay… David Vitter… the list goes on.
They all seem to hide behind Christ when they get caught.
And who am I to say they’re not sincere?
But there’s something so convenient about Sanford’s conversion. His repentance seems so slick. And his plea for forgiveness seems so glib.
As Michelle Cottle observed in an article published by The Daily Beast last month:
It is no small measure of grace that Sanford seeks. The governor did not merely cheat on his wife. (Heck, many voters have come to expect nothing less.) In a telenovela-worthy drama in June 2009, he mysteriously abandoned his post for several days for an Argentine rendezvous with his girlfriend; when his absence was reported, he directed his staff to lie and say he was hiking the Appalachian Trail; then, after getting cold busted by a reporter at the Atlanta airport, he turned himself and his state into a laughingstock by blathering on publicly and endlessly about how he was so very, very sorry, but he just could help himself, because he’d found his soulmate and was madly in love.
Recognizing the fix he was in, Sanford was ready with the God card from day one. He promptly invited the public to wallow in his sin, repeatedly lamenting his “fall from grace,” reassuring us all that he was praying on it, and, ballsiest of all, comparing his adultery to King David’s as a justification for why, despite calls for his resignation, he felt compelled to stay put and fulfill his duty. (Talk about your tidy bits of exegesis.)
Sanford is now divorced and engaged to the femme fatale featured in his escapade, which might make the affair more forgivable. But he not only asks for forgiveness, he is trying to use his disgraceful behavior as a political asset. Ms. Cottle puts it this way:
As he explained to Politico, “I probably have more to offer now as a human being than at any point of my life because there’s an added level of reflection, of empathy … In other words, whether it’s through circumstance or one’s own choices, really at a gut level understanding where one’s coming from is not really possible unless there’s some personal experience of misfortune.”
Got all that? Having disgraced himself before God and country makes Mark Sanford better qualified to serve in Congress because he will henceforth be humbler, more compassionate, more reflective, more empathetic.
How’s that for a face of brass?
This is the guy Republicans are running for Congress in South Carolina?
What do they take the people of the Palmetto State for? A pack of credulous rubes?
Photo shows Mark Sanford and Maria Belen Chapur at his victory party Tuesday night. (Bruce Smith/AP)
April 3, 2013 2 Comments
In a country where a religious leader is seriously suggesting a link between gay marriage and the threat of war with North Korea, it’s not surprising that logical policies are difficult to grasp let alone implement.
So I suppose it was only to be expected that the simple logic of a single-payer health care system would elude America’s leaders. Instead, we have Obamacare.
Page after page after page of convoluted regulations, phased in over a bewilderingly long time, leave the most patient scholars scratching their heads. Perhaps that’s why Congress finally passed the law. Nobody understood it. Indeed, I wonder if anyone read all 2,000-plus pages.
Now, the realities of the law are coming to light. And some of them aren’t pretty. Here’s one unexpected consequence of the new health care law, as revealed in an article by Richard Kirsch, circulated by Salon.com today:
The debate over fast food chains and their workers is revealing one of the biggest flaws in the Affordable Care Act. Many low-wage workers will be put in a very difficult position: pay a big chunk of their limited wages for health insurance that is costly to use, or pay a fine for the privilege of remaining uninsured. This is an example of how the debate around Obamacare is about to take a huge turn. Instead of partisan opponents fear mongering about the theoretical impact of the law, the new struggle will be around the actual experience of those Americans whom the law was written to protect: people who are uninsured because they can not afford coverage or are locked out of the system because they have a pre-existing health condition.
That’s the kind of ironic failure you can expect when you try to make legislation acceptable to all the different “stakeholders.” And, sad to say, it seems to be typical of the president’s approach to politics. He keeps seeking “bipartisan” agreement and “compromise” where no common ground exists. I often hear some political pundit lamenting the demise of “compromise” in Congress, and I wonder if they know what they’re talking about.
You can’t compromise between the right answer and the wrong answer. Two plus two add up to four. Regardless of what anyone else might say, they do not add up to two. If you compromise and agree they add up to three, you will be wrong. It’s as simple as that.
President Obama won a historic battle when he got his health care reform plan through Congress. But Americans still do not have “affordable” and universal health insurance. Not even close.
That goal will not be achieved until America’s leaders look around at the rest of the civilized world and see that a government-run, not-for-profit plan (in competition with private insurers if they want to stay in the game) is the best – make that the only – way to provide efficient, low-cost health care for everyone.
April 2, 2013 2 Comments
You knew it would happen. With Kim Jong-Un throwing a tantrum, the conservative blogosphere is ablaze with we-told-you-so indictments of American “appeasers” past and present, who are being identified as the root cause of North Korea’s impudence.
They want America to respond to the North Korean leader’s provocations by “finishing the job” that General MacArthur started back in 1950. And they’re dumping on President Truman for firing MacArthur (photo above). They think it was “appeasement” to give the general the boot after he took it on himself to invade North Korea and followed up by making incendiary remarks.
I remember being upset when MacArthur was fired. After all, he was a World War II hero. But then I had just turned 17 years old.
Adults don’t let personal pique rob them of their common sense. Pride comes before destruction, the Good Book says, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
So I don’t expect President Obama to go off half-cocked despite the goading of the armchair generals. Obama is an adult.
North Korea is a tiny country but it has a million-man army. It also has some rudimentary nuclear capability and missiles that could possibly cause havoc if not on America’s West Coast, certainly in South Korea and Japan. No “insult” would warrant risking the lives of so many innocent civilians, regardless of the satisfaction some Americans might derive from a “doomsday”- style retaliation.
And there’s China to consider. North Korea is China’s creation and remains its client. It is highly probable that an American attack on North Korea would trigger armed conflict with the world’s number-two super power.
This is not Macarthur’s China. Nobody in their right mind would want America to go to war with China. It wouldn’t matter who won. What the war would leave would not be worth winning.
Of course Kim Jong-Un is bluffing. Of course he is trying to force Uncle Sam to replace the temporary truce of 1953 with something more advantageous to his starving people. And of course he is being reckless and stupid. But history abounds with horrors that resulted from the miscalculations of stupid and reckless politicians. They pushed the envelope just that tiny bit too far and things got out of control. Call up the Kaiser on the Ouija Board and ask him how World War I blew up.
I imagine President Obama is already on the phone with China’s Xi Jinping.The Chinese are not impetuous fools. They find the kind of hubris prevalent in the West quite childish; they regard world events with a cold and calculating eye. And they must be as chagrined as we are over Kim Jong-Un’s behavior. The sanctions imposed on North Korea by the UN Security Council are evidence of that. As a member of the Security Council, China has veto power over such sanctions but has not chosen to exercise it.
I would be surprised and disappointed if President Obama and Xi Jinping don’t avert the crisis being provoked by Kim Jong-Un. They will do it in secret, of course. And they will do it in a manner that allows the North Korean leader to “save face.” But I am confident they will do it.
And the hawks will continue to write nonsense about “appeasers.”
March 30, 2013 2 Comments